Hip Hop x Public Health

13 May

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is getting creative in how they address public health issues amongst teens:  they’re turning to hip-hop. Although African-Americans consume less tobacco than our racial counterparts, tobacco-related diseases are still the leading cause of death in our community.

The Fresh Empire campaign, which initially aired during the 2015 BET Hip-Hop Awards, uses hip-hop style, music and slang to appeal to and normalize tobacco use-prevention conversations amongst teens. Through their short video clips (an average of 30 seconds each) featuring aspiring spoken word artists, break dancers, rappers, and DJ’s, all whom have strong community ties, Fresh Empire promotes their message: “Keep it Fresh. Live Tobacco Free.”



In addition to the campaign’s interactive and lively official website, they’re social media’s lit too. Fresh Empire’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube platforms are full of contest announcements, live-event photos, calls for tobacco fact retweets, and supporter shout outs.

The campaign recently teamed up with the Russell Simmons’ founded brand Global Grind and and America’s Best Dance Crew contestants Kinjaz to promote their Fresh Moves Dance Challenge where teens can submit home-made dance videos sharing why they’re living tobacco free and enter to win an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles for a meet-and-greet with the group, Fresh Empire gear or free tickets to a local concert of their choice.

If there’s anyway to encourage our young people to talk about public health issues, this campaign is definitely ahead in the game.


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